Bangladesh-based food and beverage processing and marketing company Pran-RFL Group has announced plans to invest US$2m in setting up the country's first cooperative style private company to improve the county's dairy industry.

The new company, which will be called Bangladesh Dairy Development Company (BDDC), will assist farmers in greater Pabna, Rajshahi and Rangpur districts, in all stages of cattle farming and will also provide them with loan facilities.

Major General Amjad Khan Chowdhury, retired CEO of Pran-RFL, said: "This will help us get milk for our dairy unit and others and simultaneously create jobs in rural areas".

The Bangladeshi dairy market is growing at 20% annually and imports provide around 200m liters of milk. Annual domestic production totals around 2.5m tons.

Pran dairy is the county's 3rd largest player, and has a daily processing capacity of 100,000Lts but produces just 40,000Lts at present.